When the link management platform Bitly began considering a move to the cloud, it saw plenty to gain but one major drawback: It would have to swap its IP addresses for ones from their cloud provider. This was a dealbreaker for Bitly.
"Our business is to empower other businesses to create short, branded call-to-action links," Russell Holbrook, Bitly's VP of engineering, told ZDNet. "They do that by pointing domains at our IP address. Bitly has tens of thousands of domains pointed at our IP address."
Changing that would be "really painful when those domains are all owned and operated by our customers," he explained. "You're sending out tons and tons of communications and asking people to go into systems they never deal with to change some number in order to make things work."
So when Google offered Bitly a chance to use a new "Bring Your Own IP (BYOIP)" address capability -- across all of Google's 20 regions -- they jumped on it. Google Cloud is now offering this capability to all enterprise customers that want to move their applications to the cloud. Other cloud providers including AWS offer BYOIP capabilities, but Google says it's the first to do so globally. Once a customer brings their IPs to Google, Google provides public internet routing for those addresses.
The BYOIP capability was crucial for Bitly, given that its customers have custom domains hard-coded with Bitly's IPs in their DNS records. Years ago, when the company moved from one data center to another, it went through the process of changing IP addresses. "It was a long, arduous process, it took many, many months, and it was just a huge distraction to our business," Holbrook said.
Bitly may be different from most enterprises in terms of the number of domains pointed at its IP. Still, many other businesses have similar setups with domains tied to physical IP addresses that would be hard to update. Meanwhile, other companies may have their own, relatively well-known IP blocks that they want to continue using.
Bringing over their own IP addresses to the cloud can help a business speed up their migration, minimize down time and reduce networking infrastructure costs.
Meanwhile, now that it's using Google's global networking infrastructure, Bitly has seen significant performance improvements for customers. It's benefited from an up to 50 percent decrease in latency from the client to a service for resolve time, connection time and download time.
"It's truly a noticeable increase for our billions and billions of links that are all across the internet," Holbrook said.